We Hope You Will Join Us

Screen Shot 2017-09-30 at 8.42.49 PM

You’ve admired them all summer. Now you can bring them into your homes.

We have dried the sunflowers and will be holding a sunflower wreath making class at Suzanne Balet-Haight’s on Oct. 14 at ten a.m.

Let us know if you can make it by Oct. 10th.  See you then.

 

 

Advertisements

There’s Something Magical in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens

verygood

It started simply with an enchanting idea meant to engage children in the Pitney Meadows community gardens.

Why not a fairy garden, an outdoor dollhouse of sorts where buildings were made of materials found in nature such as acorns and shells, with flowering plants that needed tending, and where one’s imagination – and joy in gardening – could take root.

Fortunately, Jess Clauser, a Girl Scout troop leader at Dorothy Nolan school and a PM community gardener, agreed and created a fairy garden in one of the garden’s raised beds, an 8×4 plot, that exceeded all expectations. Her 10-year-old daughter, Charlotte, a creative force in and of herself, helped her mother in dozens of ways.

Fairy gardens are not a new idea. They have been around since the 1890s and became popular during the Chicago World’s Fair when bonsai dish gardens were introduced and the idea of magical residents captured people’s imaginations.

Jess, however, carried it to new heights and made it art.

To create her spellbinding space, Clauser brought in logs with mushrooms attached, slices of branches and cultivated little landscapes. She created delightful dwellings, alluring houses, and magical elements like reindeer moss, which, according to fairy lore, can grant wishes. There is a clothesline where the fairies hung their outfits to dry, mini terra cotta pots filled with succulents, swing sets, bridges and tiny lounge chairs, where butterflies have stopped to rest. These accessories made the space looked lived in.

Needless to say, the plot drew (and continues to draw) visitors and gardeners every day as they looked for signs of what the fairies are up to. Clauser, an artist, maintains she has nothing to do with the daily changes. “It’s the fairies,” she says with a wink and a smile.

And apparently, there might be some truth to that as occasionally “gifts” are found and little notes are left that read “from your fairy godmother.” The gifts are little trinkets, including a birdbath sized for the fairies, sparkling glass candy, a bowl of colorful ornaments and a tiny cooking pot.

pineshinglesIf you haven’t come to see the fairy garden, please do. And, stop to see the larger fairy village located in the flower border on the northern edge of the community gardens where the wide pathway ends and the field begins. The border measures 30 feet by 6 feet and has a flourishing row of colorful zinnias, cosmos, bachelor buttons, poppies, sunflowers and more.

It was big enough for a fairy village of about 20 houses the Girl Scouts decorated with natural materials: twigs, acorns, shells, moss and pebbles. The 7 to 10-year-olds worked steadily to make the areas around their houses “fairy friendly” with little patios, mini gardens of their own and in one case, a firepit and tiny Adirondack chairs.

According to legend, fairies have the power to bring happiness. Considering all the smiles I’ve seen on the faces of adults and children as they explore what is in this little village, I think the legend’s true.

The fairy garden will be on exhibit weekends until October 8th, which is the Pitney Meadows Community Farm’s Family Fun Day from 1 to 5 p.m.

And bring a camera, children or your own sense of wonder. You won’t want to miss this.

sweet

 

 

 

Founding Patrons Event Well Attended

Screen Shot 2017-09-25 at 9.10.51 AM

Judith, Kathy and Bill Pitney are part of an agricultural legacy in Saratoga Springs and celebrated the farm’s story at the Founding Patrons dinner last night.  The 166-acre Pitney property was in their family since 1860 and is now the Pitney Meadows Community Farm.

Last evening, about 100 people who were instrumental in supporting the Pitney Meadows Community Farms came to see and celebrate what has been accomplished so far.

It’s hard to believe that in time measured by months, the community gardens were built, planted and flourished and the high tunnel greenhouse was constructed, barns were renovated, and fields where farmers will grow food in the future were planted to study the soils.

People commented on the extraordinary progress as they walked around looking at the renovated barn, the gardener’s shed, the field of sunflowers, the fairy village and the abundant produce in the garden beds.

It’s teamwork.

The dictionary defines teamwork as the efforts of a group of people acting together in the interests of a common cause.

Without the founding patrons, and the support they gave, this wouldn’t have been possible.

Without the dozens upon dozens of volunteers who came to help all season, this wouldn’t have happened.

Without the individual gardeners caring for their plots, the community gardens wouldn’t be bountiful.

And without the leadership to move the vision forward, this great space wouldn’t be thriving.

I am delighted to be a part of this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Gardens Tools and Shed Report

Screen Shot 2017-09-02 at 5.59.19 PM.pngThis morning, Judy B. painted the handles of the community gardens tools a periwinkle blue.

They look nice. Thank you, Judy.

The handles are painted blue so we know where they belong.  Other parts of the Pitney Meadows Community Farm will paint their handles different designated colors so we will always know what part of the farm the tool belongs to and what shed to return it to.

Rich T. was out at the farm this evening working on the shed, where all the tools will be stored.  It is coming along and it won’t be long before we are organizing the interior.

Thank you, Rich.

P.S. I’m happy to report, the pigeons have taken up residence someplace other than the garden shed.

 

 

 

 

 

Have Questions About How to Use What You Have Grown?

Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 11.07.38 AMTwo programs on using all the delicious produce you have grown in the garden are planned in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.

The first is Thursday, August 31 at 7 p.m. when Pattie Garrett, R.D. and Nicole Cunningham R.D. will discuss familiar and some unfamiliar ways to prepare and preserve your bounty.  There will be taste testing to enjoy.

And on Sept. 14,  Barbara Biagioli, health and nutrition counselor, will discuss building a healthy lunch box.  Barbara will share quick, healthy and  kid-friendly recipes inspired by the fresh foods grown in the gardens.

Come join us. All lectures are free and start at 7 p.m.

Creating a Communications Area in the Community Gardens

Screen Shot 2017-08-21 at 10.39.18 AM.png

Several gardeners have said if they knew what task needed doing when I wasn’t in the garden to ask, they would be happy to help.

(We have great volunteers.)

With that in  mind, I began creating a chalkboard communications area on the east side of the shed.  This is a rough idea of what I’m thinking.

It will be where gardeners can place insects or diseased leaves found in the garden for identification and information. And there will be list of “Things to Do” in the gardens should a volunteer have the time.

May I make a volunteer request? Can someone build a window box that is 58 3/4 inches long, 6 inches front to back and 4 inches deep? This will hold the bug jars and plastic bags for diseased leaves that need identification. If you think you can help, let me know.

This is the first task for the new volunteer board. Thank you. Natalie